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Feb 27 / Viji Iyer

Live tweeting at events – tips and tricks

Photo by wissam_ali

I first wrote this post for the SAS blog Conversations and Connections. SAS has been great to let me repost it here.

Live tweeting offers a great way to stay plugged in to the key happenings around an event both for attendees and for those unable to attend the event physically. Typically, when it comes to large events it’s nearly impossible to hit all the places when there are concurrent presentations or workshops happening at different places. You have to pick and choose and prioritize one over the other. Here’s where live tweeting serves as a great online collaborative platform to catch a glimpse of what is happening on the other side of the hall.

So why would you want to live tweet? Well, your reasons may be multifold but the consequent benefits all drive back to relationship building. Twitter is a wonderful new age tool to create, nurture and build on those relationships. Through live tweeting you may gain new like-minded followers and establish new relationships with them at the conference. It can be your initial step to building on your network and forming new contacts at such events. It further allows for an opportunity of collective learning from each other and strengthening your online identity and reputation.

Live tweeting is very similar to sending a typical tweet that involves sharing timely updates on the twitter stream during an ongoing event, workshop or keynote to reach and engage with a broader audience. Different people follow different tweet styles. Some people like to tweet every event status such as – “Joe speaker just entered the stage.” Others may choose to describe the mood in the room: “Joe speaker addresses a room full of excited attendees cheering him on.” Then there are others that tweet direct quotes from the speakers versus the ones that like to opine or tweet out their own two cents about the speaker and the event. The visual learners may choose to capture moments by uploading and tweeting photos on the fly. While there is no ‘one-tweet-fits-all’ formula, I offer some collective advice to help maximize your twitter experience at large events. Listed in no particular order:

1. Use the official Hashtag: Many events these days promote an official hashtag for the entire conference or even individual breakout sessions. While this might sound like an obvious one, using the hashtag in your tweets helps streamline all connected conversations on that topic making content easily searchable by the users. Here’s an example: Insightful presentation by Joe speaker on the future of Business Analytics #abaws.

2. Reference who you are quoting: If you are quoting or referring someone who you know has a twitter handle make sure you use it by adding the @ followed by their twitter name. For example: @Joespeaker: what’s new with the cloud computing world? It allows for them to engage and participate further in those ongoing conversations.

3. Make it interesting, relevant and resourceful: Just like engaging in any cocktail party, try to ensure that when you speak/ tweet you have something witty, useful or insightful to add to those conversations. Aim to add value when participating. Don’t tweet for the sake of RT’s (retweets). If people find it interesting they will pick it up and spread it on, but that should not be your motivating factor.

4. Listen and engage: Twitter etiquette is very comparable to our physical standards. We try not to interrupt someone when they are talking. No profane language to express our displeasure, or yelling over another person while they are trying to make their point. Why should we behave any differently when it comes to our virtual chats?!

5. Make it conversational: Treat Twitter as a social exchange platform versus a one way channel to push your content. Look out for responses. If people react to your tweets or ask you a question acknowledge it immediately and make it a priority to respond to them. It’s all about creating a dialogue with your audience rather than making it a one-sided broadcast.

6. Lastly but most importantly, be your genuine self: People will naturally gravitate to you online if you show them your natural self. Don’t try to project a side of you that you are not in real life. If you like humor, or are the pensive kinds let that side of you reflect online. Let your tweets be a reflection of who you are in real life, that will make these conversations that much more fun and engaging!

Can you think of other tips or tricks to add to this list? Feel free to respond with your comments.

Until then, happy tweeting!

Related posts –
7 Tips to Live Tweet an Event Effectively
Tips For “Live Tweeting” An Event
How to Live Tweet an Event

Photo by: wissam_ali

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